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Awkward Silence

Today’s Reflection

TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY North Americans live in a noisy world. Virtually wherever we go, we encounter music, television, or conversation. We perceive silence as awkward, while we babble as a way ostensibly to connect with others. We often talk incessantly throughout the day and chatter needlessly to fill the empty spaces. The desert fathers and mothers present an antidote to our world dominated by constant chatter, 24-hour newsfeeds, and ever-present background noise. … Still waters run deep, and in challenging situations, silence—or at least pausing before speaking—leads to fewer regrets than ceaseless commentary. … We easily become distracted and benefit from a quiet place to experience God’s presence and encounter our own temptations. As Jesus discovered in the wilderness, silence is not always quiet. Once our minds are at rest, the “monkey mind,” as the Buddhists call it, goes to work. We must cultivate silence to hear the voice of God amid the conflicting voices of culture, self-interest, and desire to please others.

—Bruce G. Epperly, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-Filled World (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

What distracts you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: … a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller September 12, 2019, 6:37 am

    Driving, I am easily distracted by what I see on the sides of the road. In conversations, I remember things I want to say and then they are forgotten before saying them. Lately, I am tempted by someone who thinks religion, belief in God, is nonsense. I have not given in to that idea.

    Thankful Meesook’s surgery went well, she has three new discs in her spine.
    Prayers Chad’s defibrillator implant goes well today. Thankful Anneliese’s PM treatment went well and she is receiving benefits. TomE is healing after having his gall bladder removed. Thankful I’n recovering from oral surgery and there’s progress on refinishing the deck.

    Have missed UR family comments. The Reflection comes later in the morning and I end up being fist to post. Being first has its disadvantages! Will go back and catch up.

    Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie September 12, 2019, 8:16 am

    My own thoughts distract me even when listening to radio or tv. I have that same issue, Robert, with forgetting something I wanted to say while I wait for the other person to finish. Senior moments, we call them.
    I also agree with how disconcerting it can be to post first. But I always remember, someone has to be the first. This is true in so many instances, even in the Bible.
    I’ve been reading Psalm 62 and can’t get over the similarity between it and my prayers. I pray for God to be my place of rest and to protect me, like a fortress.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Connie, Erich, Marcy and Robert.
    Prayers for wholeness for Jill and Lou.
    Prayers that Mary had a Thursday filled with God’s light that she shared freely with others.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you for all of the UR family

  • Jill September 13, 2019, 3:34 am

    Monkey mind – I had never heard that expression before, but I feel like it can aptly describe my non-quieted mind at times. Sometimes in the stillness of the morning, my inability to quiet my mind and soul is magnified by the darkness, and currently the sound of crickets.
    Julie – I think it is a good thing that you are finding some familiarity in the words of Psalm 62. When words won’t come during my prayer time – I turn to the Psalms…God beckons me there. The Spirit takes the jumbledness of my heart and prays accordingly. I pour over ancient words of the Psalms, still so relevant today. Thank You, Father.
    Tests run on my Roger came back negative – I am so relieved. He got some vaccinations and was pretty out of it yesterday. But – this morning, he seems back to his old self.
    As I read over Psalm 62 – in v.2 – “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” Oh how there are times when I feel shaken. But my perception of shaken and His reality of shaken – there is a great chasm there. He’s got me – I must only believe. Like Peter, walking on the water. God’s got me, even (or especially) when I take my eyes off of Him.

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